How Bad Is Running On a Treadmill For Your Knees

Treadmills are the most common piece of equipment all over the world. You will find them in gyms as well as homes. It’s a great equipment to have but then how bad is running on the treadmill for your knees especially if you have bad knees or arthritis.

Should you avoid running on treadmills altogether or can you run with some precautions so that it wont cause any problems to you. Lets find out.

Treadmills can be good or bad for the knees

The answer depends on some factors like age, fitness level body weight, techniques and shoes. Best way to answer this would be to ask yourself – is running bad for your knees in your current state of health. If yes, treadmills are pretty safe to use, and if no you have to take care. lets find out in detail.

Running in general is a high impact exercise which can affect your knees. If you want something that has low impact, you can go for an elliptical or something like swimming or cycling especially if you are recovering from injury. You can also opt for a manual or non motorized treadmill as it can be used on your own pace.

Running with a bad knee

Same way if you are overweight or obese, you have to take extra care while taking up a high impact exercise activity like running

A simple example would explain it better – if you are overweight (which a lot of people who want to use treadmill are), there is already enough pressure on your knees because of your weight and you don’t want to make the conditions worse by running on a treadmill. In this case you need to strengthen your leg as well as core muscles so that the extra weight can be balanced out.

How running on treadmill can effect knees

When you compare treadmills vs running outside, most people tend to run on heels whereas it is the opposite on treadmills. Most of us put down our toes first.
Running on toes take away the pressure to a larger extent as the foot muscles act as shock absorber but it is best to keep the middle of the foot first while running.

This is also the reason why you should learn the right techniques before you get into regular running routine. A wrong running posture can cause more impact on your knees and may cause an injury.

Tips for running on a treadmill and avoid injury

Learn right posture

This is perhaps first and most important thing to know and learn when you are looking to protect your knees, Try walking first, that will help you in getting into right posture. Engage your core and keep your posture tall, don’t slouch while walking. This will keep your body in right alignment.

Focus on your walk or run with any distractions like book or TV screen. This will help you concentrate on your posture and find a good pace and strike for yourself.

Get proper running shoes

There are plenty of good options available in the market. Make sure your running shoes fit properly, are not worn out, absorb shock and are designed for running. This means that they should have good support for your foot.

Warm up and cool down

Warm up before your run is very important. Cold muscles are less flexible and more prone to injury. So before you put any stress on your muscles, warm them up nicely with simple movements and stretches
Same way cooling down is also important. Simply walk at a slower pace to cool down your body.

Do other exercises and cross train

This is what most people don’t do and they lack strength in their legs to maintain balance and take up load. Do other exercises like squats leg presses, extensions to build up your leg muscles. This will help you in getting a perfect posture and control over your movements.

Running with bad knees on treadmill is good but only if you do it properly and take extra care. It also depends on person to person as to how bad their situation is.

Generally exercises are a good way to build up strength and stamina and you should start up slowly.

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